Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Duchesne, UT

  • Published 2022/10/04

With its sprawling wilderness, the state of Utah has many natural parks and recreational areas.

Named the “Gateway to the Uintah Basin,” the city of Duchesne is one of them.

Its location makes it a hub for other spots in Duchesne County, Utah.

What better way to start your trip around northeast Utah than by heading to Duchesne?

Read on to learn about the best things to do in Duchesne, Utah!

Catch the Biggest Trout along Strawberry River

The waters of Strawberry River

Mitch Johanson /

From the run-off of the Wasatch Mountains, the Strawberry River meanders through Utah and flows southwards.

Some parts of the river pass Duchesne City, especially the Strawberry Riverwalk on the city’s south side.

The Strawberry River is 18 miles (29 km) long.

Moreover, the river is an excellent fishing spot for brown and cutthroat trout.

Kokanee salmon at Strawberry River

JCA Images /

It wouldn’t be a Quality Fishing Stream without the Bureau of Land Management handling the river’s headwaters.

The fish you’ll catch in the river is safe to consume as the first eight miles (12 km) after the Soldier Creek Dam (west of Duchesne City) prohibits motorized vehicles.

Before flowing through Duchesne City, the Strawberry River meets up with a state park.

Check Out the Duchesne County Welcome Center

The Duchesne City Office houses many administrative offices and this Welcome Center for visitors to the city.

Moreover, the Duchesne County Welcome Center provides tourists with recreation, lodging, and historical information about Duchesne County.

Ask the staff anything you’d like to do in Duchesne City, and they’ll provide their expert opinion on exciting spots around the city.

Expect the Duchesne County Welcome Center locals to guide you with a smile.

Learn about the City through the Duchesne County Library

The Duchesne County Library is a public library that contains all resources you’d need to learn about Duchesne County.

The library opens every day, and you can call the staff ahead to ask for library assistance or help you find references in the area.

Aside from offering a quiet space for visitors of Duchesne City, the Duchesne County Library also opens its community room to reservations for specific events, as long as it doesn’t fall on a Sunday.

Likewise, the Duchesne County Library offers free WiFi.

Moreover, they offer a program where residents can take home a WiFi device, courtesy of the library.

If you have relatives in Duchesne City, you might want to take advantage of this program.

The last exciting bit about the library is that they offer access to a 3D printer.

The current printing fee is $0.10 per gram of plastic, but you should contact the staff ahead to inform them about the design you want to make with their printer.

Get Active at Starvation Reservoir State Park

Scenic view of Starvation Reservoir State Park

Jeremy Christensen /

Strawberry River flows into Starvation Reservoir State Park, west of Duchesne City.

From the city, you’ll drive along State Route 311 until you find Starvation State Park Road.

This state park is great for boating, skiing, wakeboarding, and other water sports.

Moreover, you can enjoy the beauty of the sandy beaches of the reservoir while feeling the breeze across the reservoir’s waters.

Daytime view of Starvation Reservoir State Park

Jeremy Christensen /

Starvation Reservoir State Park contains an abundance of walleye, trout, and perch.

Additionally, the state park allows ATVs and off-highway vehicles on some trails in the area.

If you plan to camp there, go to the dedicated camping ground in the middle of a desert area.

Starvation Reservoir State Park is a popular spot for fishing and watersports.

Enjoy a Picnic and a Stroll on Strawberry Riverwalk

Follow the road on 400 South, and you’ll find the Strawberry Riverwalk.

This public park along Strawberry River is perfect for a picnic or a stroll with the family.

Strawberry Riverwalk operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s best to come to the park early in the morning to avoid competing with other people for space.

There are restrooms available to use by the public.

Moreover, picnic tables are in either of the park’s two small pavilions.

If you plan to enjoy a picnic, secure your spot early.

If strolling around the area is your thing, you might want to schedule it for late in the afternoon when the sun begins to set.

Play a Match at the Tennis Park

Go to North Center Street, and you’ll find the Tennis Park.

This place is the only tennis court in Duchesne City.

Apart from its tennis court, the park has picnic tables, large grassy spaces, and playground equipment for children.

Moreover, these playground equipment is older, and adults might reminisce about their childhoods once they see them.

Duchesne City’s Tennis Park accepts reservations, for a fee, for your events.

You must fill out a reservation form and return it to the city office a week before your event.

Explore the Duchesne River

The waters of Duchesne River

xerimaster /

Are you wondering where the city and the county got their name?

The Duchesne River springs from the melting snow at the mountain peaks of Uinta Mountain and is the namesake of Duchesne City.

Duchesne River reportedly got its name from French-American trappers in 1824.

Because of the topography of Duchesne County, the river might have provided sustenance to various oak trees, which the French term “Duchesne” refers to.

Trees surrounding Duchesne River

xerimaster /

The river was named first, and the city that grew around it was named in honor of that river.

After getting diverted, the Duchesne River is now part of the Central Utah Water Project.

This important project aims to tap the river for human use while providing recreation, wildlife protection, and water control.

The Strawberry River meets up with the Duchesne River, flowing eastwards through other parts of Utah.

Splash around the Duchesne City Swimming Pool

On 95 N 100 W Street, you’ll find the Duchesne City Swimming Pool.

This public pool lets residents enjoy various activities during the summer season.

Typically, the city pool operates from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend.

Among the activities are water aerobics and swimming laps around the pool.

You can also take swimming lessons in the mornings.

You can inform the staff ahead if you plan to reserve the pool.

Duchene City’s Swimming Pool allows you to bring food into the pool deck area.

Furthermore, expect locals to sell soda, candy, and ice cream to help you beat the heat.

The pool encourages guests to use the picnic tables; otherwise, clean up after your waste to avoid attracting unwanted critters.

Strike the Pins at Eagle Lanes Bowling Alley

Check out Eagle Lanes Bowling Alley, an entertainment hub for generations of Duchesne residents.

Moreover, the local high schools in Duchesne use the facility for PE classes; it also hosts local bowling leagues.

You can reserve the Eagle Lanes Bowling Alley for birthdays or other events between Monday and Saturday.

Bowling is fun when you have friends to compete with and share snacks and drinks after each bowling match.

Go bowling with your family or friends at Eagle Lanes Bowling Alley!

Remember Bravery at Duchesne County Veteran’s Memorial Wall

Daytime view of the Duchesne County Veteran’s Memorial Wall

Danita Delimont /

On Main Street stands a testament to the honor and bravery of America’s soldiers.

The Duchesne County Veteran’s Memorial Wall features the names of veterans who served and defended liberty and freedom.

Think of this spot as a spiritual place.

Feel the energy of those who fought in wars as you read their names on the monument, honoring and respecting these heroes.

The Veteran’s Memorial Wall doesn’t only include the names of veterans from Duchesne City but also consists of those from surrounding areas.

This spot is open to the public all year round as long as the memorial wall remains standing.

Join the Fun with Events by the Duchesne Arts Council

The Duchesne Arts Council employs volunteers who work closely with Duchesne City administrators to enrich the arts and culture of their community.

Though they receive grants from the Utah State Division of Museums and Arts, they appreciate your support by participating in their events or donating to their organization.

Throughout the year, the Duchesne Arts Council spearheads activities like extra-curricular art classes, free concerts, and special performances.

You can check out these events by visiting the council’s website.

Even if you’re only a visitor, you can help the organization to improve Duchesne’s cultural and artistic opportunities simply by joining their activities.

Explore the Creativity of the Locals during the Winter Art Festival

Every second Friday in December, Duchesne City artists showcase their works for the public to see.

Because the Duchesne Arts Council sponsors the Winter Art Festival, for the most part, the activities are free.

The part of the Winter Art Festival that requires payment is specialized painting opportunities that the Arts Council prepares.

You can buy tickets to these paid painting events in advance by navigating the Duchesne Art Council website.

Most of the activities during the event target youths and children, but adults can join as they chase their passion for the arts.

Alternatively, you can let the children brush up on their skills while you enjoy the free concert put up by local musicians.

Take a Scenic Drive along the Indian Canyon

Landscape of the Indian Canyon

Jeremy Christensen /

As the Strawberry River meanders through Utah, it shapes the land and gives rise to many incredible natural sights to look at.

You’ll find one such wonder in the Indian Canyon near the south part of Duchesne City.

As the Strawberry River carves rock to meet with the Duchesne River, the Indian Canyon makes for a beautiful drive with rock formations on either side.

However, be careful when driving as the road can have sharp turns and narrow streets.

Daytime view of the Indian Canyon

Jeremy Christensen /

Moreover, you might come across the occasional elk crossing the road.

You can say that the canyon’s beauty hides a lot of risks.

Because it’s historically a passageway for Native Americans, the roads can be dangerous, especially during winter, as the path can get slippery.

You might want to take the scenic route with the Indian Canyon in other seasons.

Check Out Dioramas at the Pope House Museum

The Pope House Museum isn’t related to the figurehead of the Roman Catholic Church.

Instead, it was the home of a Justice Court Judge, Fred Pope, and his wife, Marie.

The couple has already passed on, but what made the city turn their home into a museum was Fred’s meticulous dioramas.

These dioramas depict her wife’s early years growing up in the Uintah Basin.

Likewise, they show the lively farm life on the homestead where Marie grew up, packed with horses and ranch animals.

Fred’s attention to detail goes as far as building things to scale, like wagons with moving wheels, buildings with doors that close and open, and trees.

Furthermore, the dioramas include a blacksmith shop with a bearded blacksmith with usable, albeit tiny, tools.

Since it depicts life during the 1950s and 60s, the Pope House Museum bustles with visitors during Pioneer Day on the 24th of July.

Plan a tour during the off-season to enjoy these dioramas made with love.

Join the Duchesne County Fair

The Duchesne County Fair is an annual event celebrated by the locals of Duchesne County.

This county-wide celebration makes its way to Duchesne City during August.

You can see the fair at Centennial Center at 60 W 400 S.

The Duchesne County Fair includes musical performances, animal shows, exhibits, car shows, and various entertainments to help you have a blast!

Expect crowds at the fairgrounds when the festivities start.

With many local businesses sponsoring the event, you’ll have many things to do and see during the fair.

Check out their website for a comprehensive list of exhibitions, musical performances, and things to do.

Plan your trip carefully so you won’t get caught in the flood of people going to the Duchesne County Fair.

Final Thoughts

From the quiet atmosphere around the city’s natural parks to bustling festivities, Duchesne City isn’t just the “Gateway to the Uintah Basin.”

You’ll miss out a lot if you don’t explore Duchesne City.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Duchesne, Utah!

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